A few days into the trip I think I finally got used to using a geared car with the gear stick on the wrong side. I was also really getting used to the distinct Lanzarote landscape of desert/scrub, volcano cones and white walled villages.
La Santa and Caleta de Famara
If you are an elite athlete then you may already know or have heard of La Santa as there is the famous training camp ‘Club La Santa’ here. If not then you can just enjoy the drive, which is easy on the eye, look at all the cyclists as they climb the hill and maybe enjoy a nice lunch or a coffee in town.
Caleta de Famara seems to be the cool, hip part of Lanzarote, probably because of all the surfers, wind surfers and other sporty types who inhabit the town. It has a nice beach with the amazing view of the ‘Famara’ a 17km long cliff that is quite stunning to see. Apparently there is a path cut into the cliff that can be walked on but is probably not for those with vertigo or no head for heights. I really liked this town and would happily have stayed here.
Northern Drive: Haria, Mirador del Rio, Orzola and Punta Mujeres
We’d done a picturesque drive around the south of the island and now it was the turn of the north. One road on the island, from Teguise to Haria and then on to Mirador del Rio attracts a plethora of ‘panaramic view’ icons on maps so it seemed an obvious choice for a day out.
We started fairly early in the morning and enjoyed amazing light as we drove north through some hills and occasionally up and down some small twisty roads. We stopped at a few of the viewing spots and drunk in the vistas. Wonderful.
Haria was very pretty and full of palm trees but despite driving in vain around town for a coffee shop we continued north. We arrived at the Mirador del Rio just before 10am and found that it was not yet open. This turned out to save us the 4 euro each that it would have cost to get to the viewing platform. We just walked down the road a little only to find what I imagine was the same views out to sea and of the island of La Graciosa. Satisfied with the view we left to have a look at Orzola.
Orzola was a sleepy fishing village and port where we had a coffee and then a short walk out across the lava, which my daughter liked climbing over. It’s a shame it was still early as it might have been a nice place for lunch.
We eventually had a lovely lunch in Punta Mujeres (in the only place open) but really liked the series of sea pools that have been constructed along the shore. We even saw quite a few of what I assume were locals having a dip.
If you are slighty tired of the crowds on the resort beaches there are several isolated little patches of golden sand just off the road between Orzola and Punta Mujeres. There are parking spots to leave the car in and the only other people we saw were a few fisherman and they prefer standing on the rocky bits. We had a lovely morning here.
For the rest of our holiday, after the car was sent back, we just tried to relax, swim in the sea or pool, walk along the coast and just generally chill. At least we relaxed as much as anyone can with a child under two!
Lanzarote was a very pleasant surprise to me. It does have the tourist resorts with the beaches, swimming pools and sun-burnt people. But it also offers some stunning scenery, some interesting culture, some wonderful activities and a potentially great time, even for those not wanting a tan.
You can see most of the areas of interest in a week and get to know them really well in 10 days. I highly recommend it.
See all the pictures from the trip.